It was the day after we booked airfare for our 2017 Fall journey and we were excited. We used an airfare site that Rian's research had come across and found a great deal. Rian, Jai, and I paid $3,104.00 for 5 one-way tickets, for the three of us (15 total tickets). We’re starting our journey in Los Angeles and ending in Auckland, New Zealand. Read more about how Rian booked this deal HERE.
I thought we had done well enough to write about our success on the Thumbtacks blog, so I began to research similar flight prices to see how we measured up. Using airfare comparing websites like Kayak and Expedia, I made sure to use the same dates and airports as the tickets that we had purchased.
Our original flight from Los Angeles to Bangkok, Thailand was $296/person, and Kayak’s price was $515. This was a great savings of $219/person. Go team Hedrick!
Our flights to Jakarta, Indonesia and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, saved us a total of $27.
From Sydney, Australia to Auckland, we saved another $69/ticket.
At this point in the research, I felt good about the value we were getting with our tickets. And then I saw the Kayak quote for Kuala Lumpur to Sydney. The airfare we had purchased for that specific flight cost $301/person, which made up a large chunk of our budget for the first leg of our 9-month journey. This flight cost more than the California to Thailand flight. By using the normal search tools, I was able to find a much lower price of only $92/ticket for the exact same flight. Yeah. I know. I freaked out. We had just paid 3x more for the same flight. I quickly looked at our confirmation email for the flights and realized that I had until 11:59pm that day to cancel without a fee. It was 10:21pm. I quickly logged onto Priceline’s website and used their help chat window to cancel our flights to Sydney. The person I chatted with was very helpful and fast, which I appreciated in my time crunch. As soon as the confirmation email about the cancellations arrived in my inbox, I bought the cheaper airfare on Kayak.
This last-minute change saved our family almost $627 and our new total for our entire airfare on this trip was $2,477! It brought our total savings to $1,568 for the 15 tickets that we bought. The savings added padding to our travel budget. We want to see and experience the world, but we want to spend as little as possible doing it.
Always do a fair amount of comparing before buying airfare. If the price feels like a good deal to you, go ahead and buy it. You are always able to cancel if you find a better deal, just make sure you know the cancellation timeframe. Often, I have passed on a great opportunity hoping that the price would drop further down, only to later see that the price continued to rise. We felt great about our original deal price to Southeast Asia and Oceania. Had I not wanted to write a blog post showing our good fortune, we’d still be naively happy with the original price. It actually was a good deal, but I found a better one.